Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018

Cycling: injury rules double champion Basso out of Giro


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, May 2 - Two-time champion Ivan Basso has
pulled out of this year's Giro d'Italia two days before it
begins because of injury.
Basso's Cannondale team said the 35-year-old rider has a
cyst caused by saddle sore that stops him from pedalling
Basso, who is famed for his climbing abilities, won the
Giro in 2006 and 2010, but he was not seen as one of the
favourites for the world's second-biggest stage race this year.
"The injury was really unexpected. I'm truly very sad not
to be able to take part," Basso told state broadcaster Rai.
"I was ready to face it in the best way and I'm convinced I
would have done well.
"My morale is in bits. It's the race I love most. But I'll
certainly return next year and I'll be even stronger.
"The first thing I'll do will be to fix this problem and
start again at once to be able to face the Tour de France and
Vuelta a Espana in the best way (later this year).
"I'm an athlete who has had difficult moments in the past.
I'll manage to overcome this one too," added the rider, whose
career was interrupted by a two-year doping ban in 2007.
The three-week Giro starts in Naples on Saturday and will
cover 3,405km before finishing in Brescia on May 26.
Among the favourites is Britain's time-trial Olympic
champion and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.
The 33-year-old Team Sky rider is hoping to become the
first rider to win a Giro and Tour de France in the same year
since late Italian cyclist Marco Pantani in 1998.
Astana rider Vincenzo 'the shark' Nibali, the 2010 Vuelta
champion, is seen as Italy's best hope.
The route for the race has something for everyone.
British speed king Mark Cavendish of the Omega Pharma-Quick
Step team will be licking his lips as it features seven sprint
finishes. Cavendish has won 10 stages in the last four Giros.
There will also be five stages over high mountains,
including two gruelling climbs on the third-last and penultimate
days with finishes at the top of the Val Martello and the much
feared Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
There will be three time trials - two individual ones,
including an uphill one in the 18th stage, and a team time trial
as well, which will suit Wiggins.
The race will leave Italy and go into France on the 15th
stage with a finish at Col du Galibier, which is one of the
toughest climbs to feature on the Tour de France.

© Riproduzione riservata

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